A little background, i just moved here a few months ago and a squirrel decided to make a nest in the chimney a few weeks ago, so i got it cleaned out but with a 23 year old furnace and a rented hot water tank (natural gas) i am deciding what to do, and if i get a high efficiency furnace this year and the squirrels are insidious i would like to decommission the chimney (probably cap it)
The tank is rented and i was planning on buying it out, but the chimney cleaning cost almost $400 and i am not eager to revisit that. An open cap would cost $150 to keep using chimney venting appliances but the chimney is also a nice air sucking appliance, the vent sucks warm air from the house costing me heating/cooling money on top of combustion air coming form the basement.
The tank buyout would be just over $400, removal is $175 and then i would have to buy my own to replace it. Its 6 years old and does not have any rusty water in the bottom of it when i flushed a couple gallons from the bottom last month. I plan on getting an anode replacement before buying it out if i do that. It had a 6 year warranty so its now not warrantied but i assume i can get another 10 years out of it if i stay on top of anode replacement.
So if i want to eliminate the chimney i am wondering if i can convert it to power vent or some other non chimney venting, and if i spray foam the basement headers (major air infiltration, the bottom foot of all exterior walls is cold) i would need to make sure it has dedicated combustion air from outside
Please give your thoughts as to what i should do, can this tank be converted to operate in a more airtight house (i would get an HRV when i foam the headers), should i buy it out and do these things or just get another tank (a lot more money, probably close to $1000 or more all told)
Thanks for your insights, and the tank's model number is G640S38FV-02, its made by GSW which i believe is a subsidiary of John Wood.